year we drew up a Business Plan for the ongoing development
of the Timber Project (Phase Three) and we have been very busy
putting our plans into action since then.
More people to help you
order to handle the increased sales that we are aiming for,
and indeed the marketing needed to achieve those sales, Dena
Nolan joined the team last October to help with the
management of the Timber Project.
Dena has had previous experience in procuring
and selling timber and bespoke timber products on both sides
of the Atlantic. That said, The Lisnavagh Timber Project is
a pretty unique business and Dena did well to get to grips with
our quirky ways!
Dena will be leaving us at the end of June, having done a marvellous
job in attracting new business for the Timber Project.
Last summer, Bradley
Richards started to help us occasionally in the workshop.
We were so impressed with his skills and knowledge of timber
that we took him on full time as our Chief Joiner from January
this year. The depth of his understanding of wood (and especially
Irish hardwoods) has proved very useful both in the workshop
and in the sawmilling yard.
December 2007 we purchased about 70 tonnes of salvaged steel
frame. This will be used to build our new 6,300 sq ft Dry Room
and Workshop area on the site of an existing building during
the coming months. This new building will give us greater and
more efficient storage capacity for kiln dried timber, some
air drying capacity and a bigger workshop.
In due course, we also plan to create
new offices and a showroom in the existing Stone Barn nearby.
A new kiln has also been purchased which
will greatly assist us with our timber drying and turnaround
time. The kiln will be operational in the new Timber Project
building in the autumn.
In February we cut 1,000 cubic feet of
sawn timber which we believe is the highest quality we have
produced to date.
The Timberpedia is finished, well
almost! Our timberpedia has been compiled from a variety of
sources and had been in the making for the past year. It should
assist anyone who would like to know more about a particular
tree and its uses. We have over 70 varieties detailed, including
the native trees of Ireland.
Over the next few weeks the Timberpedia
will be uploaded to the Timber Project website. If you find
any discrepancies or have additional information or pictures
you think would benefit, we would be happy to hear from you.
Lisnavagh is now registered a Guaranteed
Irish company, and we provide this guarantee along with our
Irish hardwoods traceability report, which assures the end user
of the timber that we only offer genuine sustainable and traceable
Irish hardwoods in this era of dubious "made in Ireland" products,
which are often just finished here.
Stock Lists &
As always, our up-to-date stock lists and price list can be
found at www.irishwoods.com/stockroom
on our website. We have revised the format of these stock lists
so that they are more comprehensive, they download rapidly (
in seconds) and so they are an even better guide to what we
have in stock at any given moment.
Currently there is about 435 cu ft of
dried timber, 621 cu ft of air
dried timber, 1157 cu ft of air drying timber (not for sale
until dry) and a number of
beams, stakes, PAOs and a few square
There has been an increasing number of requests for bespoke
furniture and products such as bookcases, kitchen countertops,
tables, mantlepieces and stair threads and as we now have a
full time joiner, we welcome all commission enquiries, alongside
the sale of our timber.
We have started to sell wood turning
blanks for wood turners. (See the list here).
We have square, round and rough sawn blanks in several types
of timber and these are available as green (fresh/wet), airdried
and kiln dried.
According to Alexa, the world renowned
web information site, our website is the 10th most popular site
in Ireland's Business & Economy section! (29/2/08)
The hits are still coming fast and furious
and the web site (www.irishwoods.com)
is certainly the most usual way for our customers to find us.
We have added a new survey to our web
site, to assist us with our customers needs and we very much
appreciate the people who have taken the time to fill out the
survey, you too can view the results! Click
here if you wish to complete the survey
Irish Wood Forum
If you haven't already seen it, try the
Because of the number of attempts by spammers to leave messages
on the forum we have had to ask people to register before they
can use it. However, it is a simple process to register and
a useful source of information for users. We are working hard
to keep the forum free of spam and useful to you (unlike a few
other forums!), so please do use it!
Thank you for reading this Newsletter
and we look forward to hearing from you soon!
The Lisnavagh Timber Project
By Dena Nolan
Spalting is a product of the rotting process, the first
stage in decay, caused by certain white-rot decay fungi, growing
in wood. The fungi favour woods with high moisture content of
at least 25 percent and moist warm temperatures.
lighter coloured woods offer the finest examples of nature's
handiwork, and gorgeous displays of spalting can be seen in
hardwoods such as maple, birch, and beech.
The unusual colourations of black, pink, gray, and multicoloured
streaks displayed on the wood result from reactions between
it and the colonising fungi and insect deposits, these are called
'ink' or 'zone' lines where the colonies of fungi meet.
(Two major kinds of decay fungi are: brown rot and white rot.
Brown-rot fungi extensively remove only cellulose from the wood,
which takes on a browner colour and can crack across the grain,
shrink, collapse, and be crushed into powder.
White-rot fungi remove both lignin and cellulose from the wood,
which may lose colour and appear "whiter" than normal.
(Lignin is the glue that holds wood together and is what is
removed from wood when paper is made.) The wood does not crack
across the grain, and until severely degraded, it retains its
outward dimensions, does not shrink or collapse, and often feels
light and spongy. Brown-rot fungi commonly colonise softwoods
(conifers), and white-rot fungi commonly occur in hardwoods
(broad-leaved trees), but occasionally, both brown and white
rot fungi colonise both types of wood.)
Inducing spalting in wood has been successful, though not always
and if these decay fungi are allowed to grow for too long, the
strength of the wood is diminished beyond use.
key to stimulating spalting is providing the fungi with a moist,
warm environment in which to thrive.
Because fungal spores are airborne, adding fungi to the wood
is not necessary as the spores are already present. However,
further exposing the wood to decaying vegetation would be advantageous
to the process and in fact feeding fungi to increase growth
can be done and sugar is an ideal food, but there is a risk
that very high levels can be toxic as it is encouraging the
wrong type of fungal growth.
An original article, written by Ron Hampton, which was originally
published in Woodturning magazine (Issue No. 73). Revealed some
stories on spalting; -
A live tree is cut into rounds that are 5 to 6 inches longer
than the diameter. The rounds are stood on end in a fungus-strewn
area in the shade; the wood is wet and is covered with wood
shavings. Within a year or so, spalting occurs.
Todd has created many beautiful spalted pieces by burying rough-turned
green wood in moist sawdust for about 6 months. (In humid climates,
the burial time would be much shorter.) The sawdust often stains
the wood in a desirable way, while the fungus is creating other
decorative marks. In addition, mushrooms and roots grow and
leave root trails and irregularities in the wood.
Rob makes a spalting sauce, by mixing a can of beer, 1-1/2
tablespoons of ammonia, 1 cup of a nitrogen-rich fertilizer
(mixed double strength), and oak leaves mixed with grass clippings.
He chops the ingredients in a food processor to create a paste
like mixture, then covers the surface of a rough-turned vessel
with the mixture. He places the turning in a plastic bag, and
leaves the bag in a warm place for several weeks. When he is
satisfied with the spalting, he finishes turning the vessel.
Spalted wood is highly sought after for the decorative and
interesting patterns that it creates on wood, which goes to
show, fungi - is in the eye of the beholder!!
Producing Spalted Wood